Facebook Is Giving All Advertisers Cross-Platform Stats in Its Latest Push for Transparency

Atlas is now part of its measurement tools

Photo Illustration: Yuliya Kim; Sources: Getty Images, Facebook, Instagram

As Facebook continues to grapple with concerns on the part of advertisers that the platform doesn’t provide enough metrics from campaigns, the company is making its sophisticated “people-based” marketing tools available to all marketers.

In November, Facebook started shutting down its Atlas ad-serving platform and folding the team into the social network’s measurement department. That team has now created a measurement dashboard that gives marketers cross-platform stats they can use to analyze their Facebook and Instagram campaigns as well as ads that run on Facebook’s publisher partner sites.

Atlas, Facebook’s ad server, launched three years ago to help the biggest advertisers and marketers measure and target their campaigns. The technology is billed as some of Facebook’s most sophisticated ad-targeting software, and it collects data on the site’s 1.8 billion monthly users. Until now, only Facebook’s biggest and likely most sophisticated marketers have been privy to such stats. Now, Atlas’ technology is baked into a new dashboard tool called advanced measurement.

“We’ve seen this world become so much more complex where mobile is driving digital in measurement, especially cross-device measurement,” said Scott Shapiro, Facebook’s product marketing director of measurement. “What we’ve done is taken the nuts and bolts of what Atlas can do and put it in an interface that’s available to tens or hundreds of thousands of marketers who are potentially less sophisticated but also the very sophisticated ones.”

Advanced measurement is part of Facebook’s self-service, business-manager software advertisers already use to manage their campaigns. The tool crunches numbers on Facebook, Instagram and publisher promos to help advertisers better understand how efficient their media spending is across platforms. In addition to business manager, advertisers also get monthly reports about their campaigns.

At launch, Facebook is focusing on two types of stats: attribution and reach, with new areas of measurement coming in the future. On the attribution side, advertisers can analyze which ads drive the most traffic to check-out pages on ecommerce sites or home in on specific publishers to see how individual campaigns perform. There are also ways to compare clicks, conversions and impressions to track last-click attribution, for example, which measures ads that lead to conversions.

For reach, advanced measurement looks at unique viewers, frequency and total impressions. The data then breaks down campaigns into age, gender and device.

“These tools, because they’re going to be surfaced through our ads interfaces like business manager, will be highly acceptable and self service, not just for the few largest marketers, so that many, many more businesses can understand the true impact,” Shapiro said. “This is really the future for us and it’s a long-term investment.”

The tool is the latest example of how Facebook continues to try to step up its measurement game for advertisers after it was revealed last year that it significantly inflated video metrics. Facebook recently agreed to undergo an audit by the Media Rating Council and has also rolled out new metrics and measurement information.